Posted 6-25-13; Updated 08-28-15
All students who declare Political Economy in the Fall 2014 semester or later (after August 14, 2014) must meet the new eligibility requirements, listed below:
- must have a cumulative UC Berkeley GPA of 2.7 or higher
- must have completed IAS 45 with a grade of B- or higher on the 1st attempt
Students who do not earn a B- or higher in IAS 45 in their 1st attempt will not be eligible to declare the Political Economy major beginning in Fall 2014, regardless of the semester in which IAS 45 was taken.
All other eligibility requirements will remain the same. See Requirements and Policies booklet below.
Questions? Please come in to the IAS office to speak with an advisor. We look forward to seeing you!
The Political Economy major examines the relationship between politics and economics in modern societies, focusing on problems of both domestic and international policy. The curriculum is both multi- and interdisciplinary and is based on the assumption that political-economic relationships are affected by society, culture, geography, and demographics.
Contemporary problems form the central focus of the major, although a strong historical perspective is emphasized. Students can choose to study planning and problem solving, environmental issues, resource distribution, and the challenges of institutional adaptation, value innovation, and changing political systems.
Some of the questions addressed in the major include:
- the tension between rising consumer demand versus the need to minimize resource depletion and pollution;
- the different priorities served by capitalist, socialist, and traditionalist varieties of political economy;
- the different priorities served by democratic and authoritarian political systems;
- how interdependence may undermine the efforts of national governments to cope with urgent national issues such as unemployment, inflation, health, and housing.
- the importance of organizational structures for policy-making in both the public and private sectors.